April 21, 2020
As UCCS students have already seen, the students living on campus have been reimbursed for both on-campus housing costs and parking permits. While these have obviously been allocated based on the empty use of both for the last half of the year, I can’t help but look at my entire tuition and fees bill.
The long list consists of fees ranging from four dollars, a hundred dollars and up to the obvious big-ticket items such as spring semester tuition (and everything in between). But what is it all being used for, especially since students are no longer on campus and activities are no longer in session?
The student activity fee, along with the events and performance fee, are simple ones to address. There are no more student activities that could possibly be funded now with all activities being remote.
The Wellness Center fee is a trickier one. The Wellness Center is still offering remote services, though I am curious what the fee could cover if no student is physically visiting the center.
As the Recreation Center is most definitely not in use, where could that fee, along with the student recreation fee, be going?
Another obvious fee, the athletic fee, seems to be one of the costliest, yet athletics are all but cancelled for the remainder of the spring season.
There are also several bond fees, but I imagine that money is long gone, and we have no hope of ever getting it back.
The fact of the matter here is that the majority of these fees are not being used anymore (if they even were being used before). There aren’t any plays at the Ent Center to enjoy for the rest of the semester. All sports functions were cancelled, and there are no games to be watched. The Recreation Center is not in use and will not be until campus re-opens, which will not happen for the remainder of the semester.
I am sure that the financial issues facing the university are vast, but this crisis is being felt by everyone. Students have lost so much money and so many experiences due to the pandemic. If we can’t get the memories back, we could at least get the money back.
Several student fees should be allocated back to student accounts, at least in part, the same as what has been done with parking and housing. The simple matter is that if we can’t use the services and opportunities provided by the fees, then that money should still belong to us. Anything outside of that would just be stealing.
To be clear, certain fees are still being utilized; therefore, we should not get those fees back. Outside of that, there is no reason for the university to absorb any funds that students didn’t get to use.